In this year, a total of 352 youth representatives from 69 countries gathered in Beijing to attend and contribute to the 4th Asian-African Youth Festival 2019, Beijing, China from 15 to 19 October 2019.
Youth representatives came from all alley of life, including politics, economic, sports, education, media, academia, and social organizations. There were 199 representatives from 34 Asian Countries.
The purpose of the Asia-African Youth Festival is to carry forward the spirit of “Solidarity, Friendship and Cooperation” form understanding and friendship among Asian-African Youths, support exchanges, and cooperation among Asian-African Youth Organizations, and promote the joint construction of an Asian-African community of shared future. This year the host of this event was Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CCYLC), All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), Asian Youth Council and the organized by China Youth Centre for International Exchange.
The participants started their day by visiting the Asian- African Youth Friendship Campus in Grand Epoch City, engaging us with team building activities and roving around the culturally developed area. And the most illuminative part was to visit the Beijing Exhibition Centre, which was the informative section of the festival as we came to divulge detail about the history of China on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. During this session of the festival, we enjoyed a lot, met with new friends, know about the education, technology, culture, tradition, and history of China.
Furthermore, the formal part of the festival appeared by the keynote speeches of He Junke, First Secretary of Secretariat of CYLC and Aytan Aliyeva, President of Great Silk Way International Youth Union. Continuing the program beginning with the session of “Asian- African Youth Entrepreneurship Forum” which deal with the panel discussion of New Opportunities and Practices for Asian and African Youth Entrepreneurship by the moderator of Liu Kai, Executive Director of International Department of All-China Youth Federation along with “Forge Partnership to Promote Youth Entrepreneurship” by Liu Fan, Associate Professor of the University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The discussion ended up with Asian-African festival is to intend and promote “ONE ASIA” for raising the awareness and prosperity of the globalizing the new trends. In addition to One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, the forum will also enhance the economic capacity along with the employment facilities to assign knowledge and technology in the Asian region.
“Asian- African Youth Partnership Meeting for Cooperation” offered a series of resourceful workshops, speeches, presentations and interactive sessions with the speeches, sharing and presentations and interactive brainstorming sessions. Participants from 22 countries talked about a lot of important issues that have been affecting the global youth. For instance, a participant from Nigeria shared how their protest and activism forced Boko Haram, a militant organization to release their female hostages. The delegate from Afghanistan explained how the dynamic young entrepreneurs of Afghanistan have been pushing the country’s economy forward despite constant threats from the warlords and drug mafias.
I was also one of the fortunate participants who got the opportunity to speak at this prestigious forum. I represented Bangladesh as well as the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD) Asia and Pacific Region in this festival. I talked about Bangladesh’s agricultural revolution over the last decade and the youth’s role in it. I depicted how Bangladesh, one of the smallest countries in the world became the largest freshwater fish producer, one of the biggest vegetable growers and rice producers of the world. Young entrepreneurs who have adopted scientific and mechanized farming played a big role in achieving this remarkable progress. I described Bangladesh as a role model for youth involvement in agricultural development and told that other South Asian and developing countries should adopt this model.
Furthermore, I also shared my experience in China on the occasion 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. I paid homage to those who contributed to build today’s prosperous, progressive and productive China. I also learned a lot about education, history, development process of China’s economy and society by visiting CREC and Community Youth Club, Ministry of foreign affairs, China Communication Construction Company, Beijing International Youth University, Peking University, Community Service Centre, China Youth Development Foundation and many other renowned places. I believe Bangladesh and other South Asian countries should strengthen their economic and cultural ties with China for peace and prosperity in the region.
Last day of the festival, youth representatives from China, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Japan, Sri Lanka, Algeria and Nigeria performed fashion shows wearing their traditional attires. Some other performances took place to glorify the evening with Shadow dance, local Chinese rhythm, piano by china and Africa as well, Magic show, chorus song, Group dance, etc.
As a student of environmental sciences and a member of YPARD, I believe that this event has opened the door of a lot of opportunities and possibilities for me and YPARD Bangladesh as well. I am planning to share my resourceful experiences in China with all the members of YPARD Bangladesh through experience sharing sessions and workshops. This will enable YPARD to engage more Bangladeshi young minds with our movement of involving the youth in agricultural development.
Photo credit: Rubaya Nasrin